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 Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo) 
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
Posts: 83
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Post Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo)
Hi to all!

As several of you like to use RAID-1 inside your ESXi servers, but a very limited support exists for low cost host controllers (no less than $300), here the holy grail: :shock:

For less than $100 (I'm only a system administrator, this price is only for your information) you can obtain an internal hardware enclosure for TWO 2.5'' HD with REAL HARDWARE RAID-1. The magic word is: SteelVine. :o

SteelVine is a hardware processor from SiliconImage for low cost hardware enclosures (mainly external 2x3.5'' USB/eSATA), with several operation modes. It's works impersonating the SATA HD (no drivers needed!). With only ONE SATA port you can access the two HD in RAID-1, RAID-0, independent disks, or special mixed modes SAFE33/SAFE50.

See more information googling for "SteelVine" and " SteelVine Manager".

My suggestion (tested by me with an ESX4i server) is:
Internal SATA port <---> internal Enclosure for two 2.5 SATA HD and one SATA port

See "external" model (some internal enclosures exists with SATA power+data from several manufactures, but with different name) googling for "2232RUS". :lol:

Any product with SteelVine processor can do the work! :D
Regards!

Remark: I prefer to not include here any link to specific shops or list some manufacturers for best neutrality. I have no association with the company named! :|


Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:58 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo)
That looks pretty interesting. Have you had a chance to test performance and what's the rebuild process like?

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Dave Mishchenko
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Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:02 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo)
Dave.Mishchenko wrote:
That looks pretty interesting. Have you had a chance to test performance and what's the rebuild process like?

Hi Dave,

Performance in RAID-1 is like with single drive using standard 2.5'' SATA harddisks. The full rebuild process is very slow, although:

* The raid can be configured by hardware switchs or software. After the initial configuration, the rebuild process can continue at the same point after a reboot or poweroff. In my tests the rebuild process starts automatically after 20-30 seconds of poweron. :o

* To configure the processor the best is use the admin tool over the USB port. You can use the tool inband (SATA) or outband (USB). :P My enclosure has also an USB port and I connect with a notebook for the initial configuration.

* The SteelVine Manager has versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Perhaps will be possible to run it on the ESXi console to check the status of the raid. Nevertheless, the tool is very basic and looks poor! :(

Please, belive me: it's cheap and really works! :D


Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:02 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 33
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Post Re: Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo)
For RAID-1. I'd get lSI 1068 based SAS HBA. It's cheap and well supported.


Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: Inexpensive hardware RAID-1 (YES! Hardware & cheapo)
Hi,

I feel that your solution is more expensive:

1) You need one free slot -> the other one uses one free SATA port on your current machine! :shock:

2) You waste more that $150 -> the other is less than $120 (you can found for just $80) :o

3) Your option needs driver support -> the other works without drivers. :lol:

Please, believe me: this the more inexpensive solution that I never found for hardware RAID-1, and it works with ESXi. ;)


Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:44 am
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